Name  / Anna Sher

Hometown  / St. Louis, MO

Anna Sher’s work is delicate and considered, made with an eye for precision that denotes her skill in graphic design. When asked to describe her style, her immediate reaction is “not trendy.” Laughing, she explains how she strives for imagery that feels timeless, and it’s not hard to see what she means. The close attention Anna pays to selecting materials, to developing processes, to crafting imagery—it all lends her creations a studied, classic aesthetic. (To get a sense of Anna’s graphic work, look no further than MADE’s logo!)

Anna’s design skills are the starting place for much of the work she completes at MADE. For example, she is currently working on a series of laser-cut Hebrew prayers. One stand-out piece features an excerpt from the Jewish candle lighting prayer; the lettering is flanked by four taper candles, two on either side, and surrounded by a braided pattern that Anna designed to resemble Challah bread. The cut imagery is backed in dual layers of gold and bronze paper, creating an elegant composition for this Sabbath blessing. This body of Anna’s work is undoubtedly in conversation with a rich tradition in Judaism of highly decorated or illuminated texts. She specifically referenced artists who design Ketubot—the often ornate prenuptial agreements for Jewish Weddings—in tones of unmistakable admiration. With the use of digital design software and a laser cutter, Anna has added a contemporary twist to an ancient art.

Anna also owns and operates a jewelry company with her mom called Knot Thinkers. What started as an interest in macrame and knotted friendship bracelets has evolved into sophisticated strung and woven bead-work; together, mother and daughter create intricate earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even beaded vessels. Their products are all crafted by hand, but of late Anna has been discovering ways to use the equipment at MADE to produce marketing material for Knot Thinkers. Everything from business cards to product packaging is now cut and etched using a laser. Anna even refined her process on how to laser-engrave their logo onto a special type of rubber to create a branded stamp. This is all work she used to do by hand, so access to a makerspace has sped up her labor. It’s clear Anna is determined to use the technology and machinery at MADE to make her work better, not just faster. She’s thoughtful at each step, from the selection of every bead (seed beads, bugle beads, delicate beads), to the weight of the paper earring backers (130lb stock).

For Anna, doing this work in St. Louis feels like a right-time, right-place situation. Having moved to Chicago to pursue her bachelor’s degree at CCC, Anna remarks how returning to her hometown has been a creative boon for her practice. She describes artist communities in St. Louis, including the nascent one at MADE, as a place where growth feels meaningful, somewhere people are excited to celebrate each other’s wins, large or small.

Anna describes her style as, “not trendy”… timeless and inspired by material

Anna Sher is currently working on a series of laser-cut Hebrew prayers, with design elements that draw from traditional Challah bread.

Visit Knot Thinkers to see more of Anna’s work.